The Missouri attorney general is investigating the actions of an alleged Chinese Communist Party-linked “service center” in St. Louis, The Daily Caller reports.
AG Andrew Bailey announced the probe in a letter to U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Missouri, which thanks Wagner for providing him information “about a possible CCP outpost within the borders of Missouri.”
The FBI shut down a “clandestine Chinese ‘police station’” above a noodle restaurant in New York’s Chinatown in April. A Europe-based human rights group called Safeguard Defenders last year reported there were 100 such Chinese outposts globally.
“The threat posed by the CCP is very real,” Bailey writes in his letter to Wagner, noting the infamous Chinese spy balloon that soared leisurely across Missouri unmolested in February.
“Missouri residents from Kansas City to St. Louis watched helplessly as the spy balloon made its way across our state,” Bailey writes in the letter. “In a blatant affront to our national security, it floated over our state capitol in Jefferson City, our local military installations, and the many private defense contractor facilities headquartered in St. Louis.”
Bailey assured Wagner the St. Louis center “will receive the full attention of my office.”
“These law enforcement organizations, operated by the Chinese Communist Party, are tasked with spying on Chinese nationals around the world,” the New York Post reported in April.
A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation reported earlier this month that St. Louis’ Chinese “service center” is one of seven around the nation
“The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) United Front Work Department (UFWD) – which at least one U.S. government commission has characterized as a ‘Chinese intelligence service’ — operates so-called ‘Overseas Chinese Service Centers’ (OCSCs) that are housed within various U.S.-based nonprofits. OCSCs were ostensibly set up to promote Chinese culture and assist Chinese citizens living abroad, according to Chinese government records.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Wednesday that, “Last week, Wagner notified Bailey’s office about the OCSC branch in St. Louis, telling the DCNF at that time that the U.S. ‘must put a stop’ to any CCP efforts to ‘gain a foothold in America.’
“The OCSC in Missouri is hosted by the Chinese Education and Culture Center in St. Louis and was established in 2017, according to Chinese state-run media. A Chinese consulate official from Chicago attended the opening ceremony of the St. Louis OCSC, according to the consulate’s website.”
“Often,” the Post writes, “the police stations – whose operatives allegedly spy on dissidents and others – hide behind nonprofits and community associations, according to Safeguard Defenders’ reports.”
The New York prosecution, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement, “reveals the Chinese government’s flagrant violation of our nation’s sovereignty by establishing a secret police station in the middle of New York City. Such a police station has no place here in New York City – or any American community.”